We are so excited to share Denise Dahl’s story with you today. Denise took the brave leap to leave a secure job (while being her only household income at that!), to start and grow her business. Her business, Epiphany Planning & Development, works with individuals, non-profits and businesses to hone in on measurable goals and work to build their success using strategic resources.
Keep reading for all kinds of inspiring insights and advice including her top 3 pieces of advice she’d give to other women looking to start a business or get into a leadership role.
Thank you for all your advice and stories, Denise!
Tell us about yourself! What makes you, “you”?
My ‘why’ is based in my core belief and outcome of being happiest when I’m helping individuals/businesses/nonprofits define and move towards reaching their goals. I truly relish being able to authentically connect with and help others grow and go down the path that they feel is the best fit and best version of what success is to them.
Describe your business/services and then tell us about what brought you to creating this business and why you’re passionate about it.
Simply put, I help guide people in identifying measurable goals, building their success, and/or developing a path if their current one isn’t working for them. Sometimes this is one on one coaching on anything from starting a business, to changing a career path. Sometimes it looks like meeting with management to better develop workforce engagement (I’m a Predictive Index Partner too). Sometimes it is training mid/upper level management to better engage with their workforce. And sometimes it is strategic planning to better align with the outcomes a person, or organization wants.
Like a lot of people I did a lot of things before I found ‘the thing’ that I love. I’ve taught in higher education, spent decades in economic and workforce development, etc. before keying into connecting and helping individuals/businesses/nonprofits on a deeper, authentic, more engaging level. At heart I’m happiest when I’m supporting others so they can be their happiest too.
What goals do you have for your business in the future?
I’d like to continue to grow my business in a manner that not only supports other women, but also models a balance between personal and professional, as in, business/financial growth does not have to equate to the shrinking of a personal life, and can absolutely be both rewarding and super fun.
What is your proudest achievement?
Professionally: Landing General Mills as a client. Personally: Running a half marathon aka 13.1 miles.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a business owner and how did you overcome it?
Starting a business when I already had a secure and supportive income, and was the only household income, was my biggest challenge, because almost everyone told me that I was a fool for rolling the dice and taking the risk. I valued people’s concern, acknowledging it is definitely a risk that requires a different mindset , but listened to my own inner voice and intuition and moved forward anyway knowing even if I failed it would 1) be an amazing adventure, and 2) remove any regrets I’d have if I didn’t at least try. Spoiler alert: It all worked out.
What advice would you give to a woman looking to start a business or get into a leadership role? Is there one thing that has helped you specifically?
Three pieces of advice have helped me immensley. One, do not ask for and/or take advice from people who are living lives that don’t reflect the one you wish to live. Two, we are wired as human beings for safety so you will face fear and doubt and that is okay, as well as no reflection on whether or not you will succeed. Three, never, ever accept a ‘no’ as a final decision from someone who does not have the capacity or authority to say ‘yes.’
What made you want to join HerHub?
I have been very fortunate to have been supported by some amazing women throughout my life and value the opportunity to not only continue to enjoy that support but also offer the same.
Why do you feel it’s important to collaborate and empower other women?
There is a dynamic that exists when women collaborate and empower each other that creates an understanding and space that is invaluable. Having been helped myself, I believe it is important I do the same.
If you could recommend one resource (book, podcast, quote, class, website, etc.), that has helped you in life or in business, what would it be and why?
Meredith Fineman’s book, Brag Better! It is a wonderful resource that addresses and guides women away from the anxiety a lot of women have when it comes to self promoting, whether it is asking for a raise or starting a company.
We love spreading love to other woman-owned businesses and we bet you do too. Give a shout out here to your favorite, local, woman-owned business (besides your own)!
While I haven’t used her business services Krista McCulloch’s Anchored In Hope start up story is beyond inspiring, and she is also the reason, based on her testimony, I decided to join HerHub.
For more information about Denise’s business, visit: